As of yesterday, Thursday, June 2, 2011, just a little over half of Texas is in a state of exceptional drought. Also, yesterday, we experienced the hottest June 2 on record, with 100 degrees recorded in Houston and several other stations around the city. The previous high was 97 degrees. Here we go again. More historic weather.
Our outdoor thermometer only got up to 97, but who’s to quibble over a few degrees? It was blazing hot, and I really felt for the people without air conditioning. The city of Houston opened ten cooling centers, and the city is doing what it can to help people beat the heat. City officials stressed that libraries, enclosed shopping malls, and movie theaters would be good places to go. That all sounds well and good, but the most vulnerable are the elderly, who are least likely to go to a mall or a movie, people who are sick with chronic illnesses, and the very young, who are at the mercy of their parents’ economic situation. If you’re too poor to afford air conditioning, going to a movie doesn’t sound like a viable option, especially day after day. It’s supposed to be historically hot here for at least a week, maybe longer. There ought to be a way we could provide some window units for the sick and elderly at least. Yes, I know, their utilities would go up, and that would be a problem for sure. It’s hard to know how to help. I guess the cooling stations are about the best we can do for now.
Of course, it’s well-known that Texas gets hot in the summer. If you’ve lived here at least a year, you know. It’s hot. It’s really hot. And it’s dry. It’s really dry. And it isn’t even summer yet. We’ve just made it into June.
Here’s a drought map showing our dire situation. You can click once on the map to go to the USDA site.
Here is a burn-ban map for you. It covers a lot of territory.
Here’s a link for you to a “current temperature” map in Texas. They won’t allow downloading the map, but you can go to the link and see real-time temperatures across the state. http://www.usairnet.com/weather/maps/current/texas/temperature/